Teams across the globe know how important it is to have home field advantage. When NFL teams travel to New Orleans or Seattle, chances are, the home team comes out with the dub. Matter of fact, those two teams are so difficult to beat, they are a combined 30-5 when playing at home since 2012. Switching leagues to the NBA now, the Oklahoma City Thunder posted a 34-7 record last year at home. The Thunder are known for a lot of things, but having a great crowd presence is one of the things they rely on big time. So if playing with a home crowd directly affects performance, how do we implement this into Ultimate? Easy, have a booming sideline presence.
About 5 years ago, I was at a practice for the men’s team I was on. We were working on a particular play. What I’ll never forget is how regimental our play practice was. Literally we were working on player movement as precisely as a few feet rather than having general lanes and letting the offensive players run their lanes based on the positioning of the defense. It felt more like a choreographed dance than a play that contained room for variety within each lane or cut.
It’s that time again! College captains are scrambling to find those eager athletes to join their squad. As a captain of a small school, I can assure you, it’s pretty difficult to find recruits. People are joining organizations left and right. What’s gonna make them want to join a team that throws plastic back and forth with each other? They could go Greek, join a different club sport, or just focus on their studies. How can you, as a team, convince rookies to join the Ultimate team on campus – which will surely be the best decision they’ll ever make. Here are a few of the recruitment strategies I’ve found useful over the years.
When I was learning to play Ultimate, I didn’t have a coach, mentor, or Ultimate Rob videos. I had to teach myself the game and whenever my friends learned something new, we’d spread the knowledge with each other. I was one of the slower learners on the team and required as much assistance as possible, so putting me on the handler line wasn’t the best option. I was a cutter by default. When I came to college, my throws were naturally better than most because I had been playing for a while, and my team was brand new. So my journey began from moving from a cutter to a handler – yet again without a mentor. Teaching myself this aspect of the game was incredibly difficult. Here are 10 guidelines for rookie handlers that helped me learn to be a handler.
For all things great to have become great, there had to be a starting point. You think the University of Alabama just magically got good at football? Although Nick Saban might as well be a Houdini, magic isn’t the answer; No, they had to have a good management, dedication, and a solid foundation. For all of those teams starting up for club season right now, and future college captains for young teams, this is for you. This article is going to highlight the major points on what to do when building a team from Stage 1.
25th May 2014
Day 3 was spent in preparation for the upcoming tournament which starts in a day. The teams had two session of Ultimate as usual. The morning was spent doing the drills that was part of the curriculum. In the evening however the coaches had the freedom to devise their own training plan according to what the coaches thought was needed for their team. Many teams choose to run drills that ended in scrimmage with another team. The afternoon was spent painting T-shirts that would serve as jerseys.
24th May 2014
I happened to be running into the room to hunt for one of my campers when I saw Narmada from Chennai writing a log. I asked her if she writes every day and If I could translate her thoughts for this blog.
A little about Narmada, She is in the 12th standard. She is part of Pudiyador, an organisation that engages under privileged kids in different skills (academic and extra curricular) by hosting them in after-school activities year long. She’s been associated with Pudiyador for 8 years now and she credits the organisation for helping her study better and improving her educational abilities. The organisation is run by one of our National Youth Camp’s Program Director Manickam Narayanan, popularly known in India Ultimate as Manix or Baasha Bhai, along with the support of many others.
This is a quick introduction to the first ever National Ultimate Youth Camp at Surat, India.
The Ultimate Camp at Surat is the first of its kind in India. It’s a gathering of about 130 adolescents and 30 coaches for 5 days. These are Beginner to Intermediate level players and they’ve come from all across the country with no universal language for communication. These campers are going to be split into teams of 10 with 2 coaches to facilitate. The camp covers the basic skills and strategy needed to play structured ultimate, like throwing, cutting, vertical stack, Defensive skills and handler movement.
Captaining my Ultimate team has been the most stressful job of my college career. Forget the midterms, forget the finals, forget about juggling my job, school, church, and girlfriend. But no matter how stressful the role was, the payoff was always worth it. Over my few years of being a captain, I’ve learned the ropes. Here, ladies and gentlemen, are the 10 things every Ultimate captain should know.
1. You’re the face of your franchise
As an intermediate player I used to wonder why our captains and coaches insist on running the same drills over and over again. Frankly, I found it boring! I assumed drills, like warming up and stretching, was a waste of time. I used to be all about the scrimmage at the end of the training session. I slacked off during drills, didn’t really focus on what I was doing. To me, then it was about doing enough reps before the captain/coach let me play ‘actual’ Ultimate.
We have been hearing it for years from Brodie Smith when he tells us to “Man Up”. But what does it mean. Does he know what it means?
Check out this fantastic TEDx talk by Carlos Andrés Gómez talking about what it actually means to truly “man up”. Although this video isn’t about ultimate, it encourages you to think more critically about what it means to be a man.
If you can’t see the video above, watch it here on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fk1M0SC55Os.
How Lottery Made a Difference in the Frisbee Community
Millions of people play the lottery with the hope of winning huge amounts of money. Just imagine how much these lottery companies earn from all the tickets bought each day. If you feel bad because you weren’t one of the lucky winners, then try not to dwell on that negative emotion. Think of it as an act of charity because these lottery companies give back to the community including Frisbee groups – either by giving funds or sponsorship.
For me, the best part about qualifying for Nationals has always been the opportunity to spend a few more weeks with my team. I have extremely fond memories of those precious extra moments earned at both Cal and Texas, (and with Showdown and Molly Brown), and these memories are perhaps sharpened by the heartbreak of the seasons sandwiched in between where I lost three games-to-go in two years. I share some of the heartache of losing that third game here. Endings are incredibly difficult, especially when they happen sooner than we’d hope.
Former Australian cricketer, Adam Gilchrist, hits the nail on the head in his biography ‘True Colours: My Life’.
Gilly explains beautifully about how pushing yourself in training and in practice games is akin to making ‘deposits in the bank’. He cites the example of how they once chased down 315 runs (a big score then!) He says that it was a very useful ‘memory’ to be stored away in preparation for a world cup because if they ever found themselves chasing a challenging score in the world cup, they wouldn’t be lost. They would know what exactly to do because they have been in that situation before. The confidence that they could draw from it was immense.
I got to spend some time with some enthusiastic folks who turned up to try out Ultimate for the first time ever. Some of them had heard about the sport from our media coverage for Chennai Heat, others had seen us throwing on the beach and there were a few who were, well, just inquisitive after hearing from their friends!
Malissa Lundgren, Ultimate Canada’s 2011 Female Athlete of the Year, discusses how the Capitals were more successful after changing their team strategy following their 2009 semi final loss in the UPA Championships to Brute Squad. In 2010, they would go on to make the finals where the lost to the powerhouse women’s team, Fury.
I am going to close the idea of a dynamic vertical with several odds and ends that tie the concepts together.
- Recognize the strength of your thrower. When your thrower is capable of hucking with precision, delay your strike-cut until after possession has been gained. If the thrower is only comfortably throwing 20 yards, leave for your deep strike a second prior to the catch and then cut back under for a 15-20 yard gainer.
We’ve been working with USA Ultimate on the new Triple Crown Tour (TCT), as well as Caps from the 2012 fall season to put together an exciting 2013 strategy and schedule. This is a little different than years in the past but was built to take into consideration a lot of factors with a focus on 2 key objectives:
- Ensure a strong Capitals team will participate in the 2013 TCT, keeping the spot we fought hard to earn last fall!
- Ensure the opportunity for players to participate on Caps and on their respective club teams.
One of the things that drew me to ultimate was the many nuances of gender equality that are embedded within the sport. One example is the mixed division – a division in which men and women play high-caliber ultimate together on one team. Another example is the ‘Open’ division, which is open to all genders and all ages.
My appreciation for equality in ultimate was reinvigorated last week when Ultimate Canada announced the addition of the Women’s Master’s division in CUCs for Vancouver, 2013. This was reminiscent of the excitement when Canada agreed to send its first-ever women’s master’s team (+30yrs of age) to Japan to compete at the World Ultimate and Guts Championships 2012.
I’ve been having a lot of conversations with college players as they process the end of their season and begin regrouping for whatever comes next. As tough as endings can be, with them come new beginnings, and those can be tough as well. It’s a bit hard to summarize all of my thoughts on this topic, especially as I struggle through endings and beginnings myself, but I thought I’d share a bit of Melee ’08 with you as your team begins the next part of its journey.
This season, I’ve had the privilege of serving as a sounding board for a number of college captains. (I say privilege because I don’t take their trust lightly, and listening to their struggles also means that I get to see their victories.) I definitely don’t have magical solutions for them, but I’m always happy to give them an outside perspective, help them frame their situations positively, as well as just listen, because often, all they need is someone to talk to.